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Old 11-08-2012, 01:43 AM   #3856
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Originally Posted by rockymountainoyster View Post
I will be interested to hear your take on gravely washboard after you ride Ruta 40 or Ruta 8 in Chile. The winds south of 45 also present an interesting challenge. I see you were camping on the Salar. Have you carried camping gear this entire trip. I am trying to figure out what I need and what I can leave behind for my coming extended trip in Mexico, It has been great following your amazing journey.
Will certainly comment of Ruta 40 & Ruta 8 when I get there! Do not think they will be as bad a s these were!

I did not carry a tent until I got back to Ecuador riding south. Did not need one in Mexico as the hotels were very cheap and really no one camps for safety reasons.I did carry a small Sleeping bag with a couple inserts that I did use a few times. I say go as light as you can (but the boyscout in me, has me packed a bit heavy!)
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:32 AM   #3857
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Just a 30 second video. Another hostel parking area. This is Potosi, Bolivia in the Koala Den Hostel. Done this so many times it seems normal

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Old 11-08-2012, 02:53 AM   #3858
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Tilcara to Salta

Just a few hours south to the bigger city of Salta. Riding down the valley as the altitude gets lower. Seems strange after being in the Altoplano for so long, now I am down to 4,500 feet elevation.



Stayed here in Salta. Had to ride through the lobby, dining area to get to the patio in the back Was a tight squeeze through but nice Patio in back for the bike!



Couple things have changed in Argentina. First the outlets changed so I need to find an Adapter .....



The other thing that really changed here is the restaurant do not open until 8-9PM for dinner Persoanlly I have always been an early to rise kind of guy, so no eating dinner until 8-9-10 seems really late to me New country new customs!

Since I needed to have Moto Insurance, I found the tourist office and they directed me to the national tourist office!



They could do Moto insurance that will be good for all all surrounding countries as well, which is great. Took about an hour .... but got it done. 223 Pesos ($47 USD) for 3 months coverage.



Salta is about 500,000 people and has a nice main square. Tons of shopping and people around.





And shoes are a big thing here.



Had a nice breakfast of coffee and Empanadas (meat or chicken filled pastries)



Took a couple days to relax and not do too much. Enjoyed a bit of walking about, catch up on some calls, Bills, Ride report etc.



Had a nice meal on the square. The steak was great!



The only problem eating on the main square is that it costs more, and had a constant group of people asking for money, of to sell you stuff.



This little guy had some cards for sale but settled for some of my neighbors breadsticks. It is hard to see so many without anything.



ended up being a big splurge ..... $20 meal But I was feeling like just enjoying the moment.



Just taking it all in, relaxing and feeling very grateful that I have this opportunity to explore part of the world. Many times we get caught up in life and forget to reflect and be thankful!

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Old 11-08-2012, 03:23 AM   #3859
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loving the updates, seeing the scenery change through your photo's feels like I'm there with you a little bit :)
Quote:
thanks for keeping this RR going!
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:53 AM   #3860
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Great Update!

Mark, thanks for keeping us updated and along for the ride. I have been along for a while now but don't post too often. You are a great man for doing this report and you hit it on the head that we need to slow down once and a while and appreciate our surroundings. Keep up the great work and may God bless!

Tim
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:40 AM   #3861
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Hey Mark, question for you: How have you dealt with money and currency exchanges as you pass through various countries? How do you anticipate how much local-currency cash you'll need? Do you use a credit card? Are ATMs available and do you use? Cheers.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:29 PM   #3862
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Good to see that you are enjoying the Argentinian way of life

Ride safe !
Julio
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:50 PM   #3863
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Asegurados

Be careful on that one. We thought we had it all nailed down.... not.

You would have a pretty girl, and there are many in Argyland, in the foto of the hostel.

Food and wine are great there. Mind the drivers, they all think that they are Juan Manuel Fangio in rusted out heaps with bad brakes.

Know what you mean about packing. I overpack. Did I see a cover on your bike in one of the fotos. Tried to cut back on stuff on this trip and sure could have used my lightweight rain shell here in SoCal

Excuse the cutesies... my fingers are awkward on this iPad
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:52 AM   #3864
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Great updates and progress... looking forward to more...
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:39 AM   #3865
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Originally Posted by matloik View Post
Hey Mark, question for you: How have you dealt with money and currency exchanges as you pass through various countries? How do you anticipate how much local-currency cash you'll need? Do you use a credit card? Are ATMs available and do you use? Cheers.
Hola Matt....

Getting money and exchange is always a trick. You try to figure out how much you will need and cut it close so you do not have much at the border to re-exchange. I have been keeping fairly good track of my expenses with a spread sheet so I know that in Peru my daily rate was around $62 USD per day (I was on my own and getting single rooms with Bathrooms that added to my budget) and Bolivia was at $52 USD. This includes everything I spent including Visa's fee (big in Bolivia at $130USD, and bike parts, laundry, cerveza etc)

I use ATM's and once I arrive in a country, take out a chunk of what I will need for the country so that in small towns and villages I have money and do not have to always find an ATM. The other issue is many of the ATM's down here only give a small amount of money, like $100-$150 per transaction so you end up doing multiple withdrawals but that is how it works unless you find one that gives more!

I have noticed that you can get a better exchange rate sometimes on the street than the ATM, but for ease and hopefully to avoid getting counterfeit bills (which are certainly around down here).

Hope that answers your question. For a long trip it is hard to carry all the USD you will need so you end up paying the bank fee + international transaction fee of 3% of ATM withdrawals. I have an account that reverses my ATM fees so all I pay is the Int'l Fee.....
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:32 AM   #3866
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You would have a pretty girl, and there are many in Argyland, in the foto of the hostel.
Glad you noticed. My friend Hector told me Salta had many beautiful women
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:35 AM   #3867
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Did I see a cover on your bike in one of the fotos.
You did. Having a bike cover has been one of the best things I brought with me!! It does take up space, but by covering your bike it sort of make it invisible to most people!! Would highly recommend this as part of the gear needed for SA travel! (and it keeps my sheepskin dry :)
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:58 AM   #3868
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Salta to Cafayate

Enjoying my time in northern Argentina, but it is a time that I am on my own. Have not seen any other moto travelers days without speaking much english, but it is a good time of reflection on my journey and taking in the culture here in Argentina.

There are always things you think about on a ride like this. I have met some very interesting people, enjoyed traveling with some amazing people and sharing the experiences which is really great.

I had not done any research about this northern part of Argentina as most of my focus was on the Lake District, and southern Chile, Patagonia. So this is interesting to just be taking it in.

As part of my trip, I spend some of my time reading books about things I see or learn along the way. I have been reading "CHE" for the past few weeks as you see his image all over Central and South America. It is interesting to be reading it while riding through some of the areas he traveled not only in Motorcycle Diaries, but as he changed into a Guerrilla fighter for Socialist change. He was a brutal killer of people that did not adhere to the "Revolutionary Fight"



Had a good parking patio at the Hotel in Salta, But it was a narrow ride through the hall, dining room and out the front door. If the bike was any bigger it would not have made it!





The 186 KM road riding south to the wine area and town of Cafayate. Was beautiful once you got 30-40 miles from Cafayate. As I got on my bike in the morning, I felt so grateful to me able to make this ride today!!



The colors of the mountains went from red with lots of greenery.



to Huge formations jutting up out of the earth.





Beautiful relaxed ride..... Just a great visual ride!



Some of the road was washed out, but good smooth dirt riding.



The entrance to the "Garganta del Diablo" (not the Iguazu falls)



Pleasure to enjoy the warm temps and sunshine as I had a few hour ride to Cafayate.









The photos do not do it Justice.



As the road starts to emerge from the mountains to the valley the rocks fade into the plains.







And at the edge of town the wineries start!



Found a great hotel in town. Was a bit more money but has A/C, WIFi and nice gardens. Great place to stay for a few days.

Met a Dutch couple staying at the hotel and had dinner with them! Leo and Viola Always great to share the trip with other travelers!!
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Chapter 3 of my life...... with Faith, Hope and Courage!

Ride of my Lifetime...... Thread started 5/11/2011 http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...0#post15950430

AceRph screwed with this post 11-09-2012 at 07:48 AM Reason: Fixed img tag. Hi Mark!
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:10 AM   #3869
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aren't you close to your anniversary of one year on the road? not counting the intermezzo's flying home to take care of business. planning anything special?
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:23 AM   #3870
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aren't you close to your anniversary of one year on the road? not counting the intermezzo's flying home to take care of business. planning anything special?
My trip actually started 6/1/11. Headed into Mexico 10/11. So I figure I am on month 17 of my travels even though I was "home" in the us a few times, I have have my house rented out and have been on the road the whole time!

So far I have ridden about 50,000 miles in 16 countries ! On 3 motos (2of my own and the royal enfield rental in India)
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